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Flannel Nightgown, please. Hold the ruffle.

Flannel Nightgown, please. Hold the ruffle.
November 6, 2008 Mary Jo

Despite the last week’s record-high temps, (70s! In Wisconsin! In November!) the promise of cooler days is lurking around the bend. Today’s chilly rain and grey demeanor are further reassurance that I’ve spent my free time of the past week appropriately, sewing not one, but four flannel nightgowns for Miss Isadora. Think old-timey, ruffled, sleeping-cap-and-candlestick-bedecked, old lady nightgowns, and you’re right on the money.

Born partly out of necessity, partly out of perceived motherly duty, I thought it time for Isadora to enter the rite of passage for little girls known as The Flannel Nightgown. Shell-shocked by the whopping combo of a big, old house and the lightning-fast speed at which propane flies through the furnace, we’ve learned to keep the thermostat set at a cool 63 degrees. During the day. At night, it barely hovers above 50. Flannel is warm. Goose down might have been a more appropriate choice (picture that!) but she does get 1 pug to sleep with in our new-age version of heating the brick by the fire and slipping it into the sheets for a toasty bed.

Why make four of them? Well, making only 1 seems like inefficient use of time; two would take only slightly longer, employing an assembly-line process, which I’m a fan of. Four though, is necessary given our laundry impediment. Sometimes clothes stay trapped for weeks on end in the impenetrable laundry cycle and I find myself powerless to break the force field. Usually it’s in the Folded, Waiting to be Put Away stage that they become frozen in time and space, often rendered invisible to our human range of vision. Our only coping mechanism, it seems, is to have a healthy supply of the necessities. Anyone else experience this strange phenomenon in their house? Perhaps we’re located on an unusual magnetic field…

The flannel is nothing special; we picked it up at Joann’s in a hurry, trying to make the best of an assortment of cutesy designs. The pattern is Simplicity 3586. Turns out you can also make them without the candlestick, which was a relief.

pattern-3586I omitted the bottom ruffle on this first one that I finished, and it’s quite long enough. With glee, I found some soft fringe in my stash that finished the hem nicely and also happens to be Isadora’s favorite part.

Some revelations on the project:

Four really is a lot to make of the same thing at the same time. I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you possess a super-human attention span. Mine is more akin to the crow….ooh! Sparklies over there!

I still have 3 to finish up. Yesterday’s laundry emergency required a clean pajama option, so I ditched the assembly line to finish the first one. It was a real emergency this time, not some “laundry stuck in time and space phenomenon” scapegoat to excuse my poor upkeep. The washer had spun itself into oblivion yesterday, so I may be doing lots of sewing until it gets repaired….anyone have a good underwear pattern? Hee hee.

Another note, should you find yourself sewing lots of sleeves, big or little:

this little sleeve board was worth its weight in gold, even at today’s going rates.

So the sewing machine is in “standby” mode these days, ever ready to be put into service, with projects lined up like enthusiastic voters – around the corner with a looooooong wait. Truth be told, they’re facing some stiff competition from the knitting sector and the rainbow of wool and other fibers that have marched their way in here over the past few weeks. On the recommendation of so many, I’ve entered the world of Ravelry and have been taken prisoner.

But that’s a story for another day.

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